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Guitarist/songwriter Nile Rodgers co-founded the successful group Chic and is one of the most successful producers in popular music. What is less generally known is that he was also an accomplished and influential arranger who created a hit sound for both the airwaves and the dance floor. This was achieved by synthesizing diverse influences including the ethnic music of Greece, Italy and China, classical, funk, disco and children’s music.
The following interview took place in his Manhattan apartment in 2003. The décor showed a “man of wealth and taste,” a lover of Egyptian antiquities and plush furniture. Rodgers grew up in the artistic atmosphere of Greenwich Village, a fact that informed his wide musical tastes. He was also a self-confessed “party animal” prowling the fashionable New York clubs. He used that experience to create his own style of dance music (the jazzy funk of Chic) with his friend, bassist Bernard Edwards. This interview is a unique opportunity to hear one of our most influential artists discuss his concepts and techniques.